ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ARMED CONFLICT, CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL ETHICS
Artificial intelligence provides the complex software for autonomous weapons, a new contribution to the arsenals available for contemporary and future armed conflict. This paper first provides an overview of Catholic Theological Ethics, including the Just War Doctrine, Christian Pacifism, and the priority for peace. In the second part, the paper provides a brief introduction to autonomous weapons, using two examples. In this part, autonomous weapons are linked to the Just War Doctrine, and to the question of responsibility. The third part of the paper brings these two topics together. The third part includes an insight into the ways the Just War Doctrine is challenged by autonomous weapons and the need for respectful dialogue between ethicists and developers of weapons, and the priority of peace. No final conclusion is possible: this is a field of constant change and interchange. But during this work in progress, we can be attentive to the challenges to Catholic Theological Ethics, and to the contributions of Catholic ethicists and Vatican officials.
Academy for Life, Rome Call for AI Ethics (2020), http://www.academyforlife. va/content/dam/pav/documenti%20pdf/2020/CALL%2028%20febbraio/AI%20Rome%20Call%20x%20firma_DEF_DEF_.pdf
Alan Backstrom and Ian Henderson: “New Capabilities in Warfare: An Overview of the Contemporary Technological Developments and the Associated Legal and Engineering Issues in Article 36 Weapons Review,” International Journal of the Red Cross no. 886 (August 2012), https://international-review.icrc.org/sites/default/ files/irrc-886-backstrom-henderson.pdf
Alice de La Rochefoucauld and Stefani Saldi, ed., The Humanization of Robots and the Robotization of the Human Person: Ethical Reflections on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems and Augmented Soldiers, Chambesy: Caritas in Veritate Foundation, 2017, www.fciv.org/downloads/WP9-Book.pdf
B. De Vidts, ed., Weapons and International Rule of Law, 2017, http://iihl.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Weapons-and-international-rule-of-law_Sanremo-Round-Table-2016-3.pdf
Catechism of the Catholic Church (Official Edition for Australia and New Zealand), Homebush: Society of St Paul, 1994.
David Luban: “Just War Theory and the Laws of War as Nonidentical Twins,” Ethics and International Affairs 31, 4 (2017) 433-440.
Department of Defence, Directive: Autonomy in Weapon Systems, 2012, https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/d3000_09.pdf
Dodaam Systems Ltd, Combat Robot (Lethal) (undated), http://www.dodaam. com/eng/sub2/menu2_1_4.php
Governance of Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences, Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2018, available at https://www.interacademies.org/ sites/default/files/ publication/governance_of_dual_use_research.pdf
International Committee of the Red Cross, Autonomous Weapon Systems: Technical, Military, Legal and Humanitarian Aspects, Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 2014.
International Committee of the Red Cross, Ethics and Autonomous Weapon Systems: An Ethical Basis for Human Control? Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 2018, https://www.icrc.org/en/document/ethics-and-autonomous-weapon-systems-ethical-basis-human-control
Isaac Asimov, “Runaround,” I, Robot (The Isaac Asimov Collection ed.), New York City: Doubleday, 1950.
Israel Aerospace Industries, Harpy: Autonomous Weapon for All Weather, (undated), https://www.iai.co.il/p/harpy
Kirsten Martin: “Ethical Implications and Accountability of Algorithms,” Journal of Business Ethics, 160 (2019) 835-850.
Mary Cummings, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare, London: Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2017.
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, London: Burns and Oates, 2005.
R. Shashank Reddy, India and the Challenge of Autonomous Weapons, Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2016.
Seth Lazar and Helen Frowe, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (Ottawa Treaty), https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/INTRO/580
Vatican Radio, “Permanent Observer: Autonomous Weapons bring False Security” (11 April 2016), http://www.archivioradiovaticana.va/storico/2016/04/11/ permanent_observer_autonomous_weapons_bring_false_security/en-1221901
Vatican Radio, “Permanent Observer: Autonomous Weapons Bring False Security” (11 April 2016), http://www.archivioradiovaticana.va/storico/ 2016/04/11/permanent_observer_autonomous_weapons_bring_false_security/en-1221901